Schiphol /the Netherlands/, June 9. /TASS/. Dutch Prosecutor’s Office believes that the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which crashed over Ukraine in July 2014, could not have been downed by a military plane, Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse said Tuesday.
"The question of whether the [MH17] Boeing could have been downed by a military plane was studied from different angles," he said. "Many sources showed that such scenario was impossible. The most important and objective information was obtained as a result of analysis of radar data, flight recorders, radio communications of Russian and Ukrainian dispatchers and during forensics expertise, conducted by a number of independent experts."
"The Prosecutor’s Office believes that this scenario was studied in full, and an air-to-air attack could not have caused the MH17 crash," Ferdinandusse underscores. "These conclusions are based on the data of primary radars that indicated no presence of other aircraft in the airspace at the moment of MH17 crash, […] and that an attack by a military plane is not supported by the flight recorder data. This makes further investigation of this scenario pointless."
The Prosecutor’s speech took place within yet another set of hearings on MH17 case, which bear mostly technical character. Within its framework, the Prosecutor’s Office must provide a comprehensive presentation of its investigation, after which the defense will be allowed to request additional investigative actions on the case.
Independent journalists disagree
However, a number of independent journalists have a different opinion. Two days ago, the Bonanza Media independent journalism platform uploaded a video to YouTube, in which witnesses confirm presence of military planes over Donbass on July 17, 2014, the day when the MH17 crash took place.
"It was all quiet at first, and then jets began flying overhead," one witness named Boris said. "I saw one, I definitely did. I heard sound of another one, but it was unclear where it was. For a moment, it was quiet. In two minutes, a powerful bang came from above. I looked up and saw a trace. I don’t know, whose trace it was, but it was kind of horizontal. […] And then I saw a plane falling from behind the clouds. It fell like leaves from a tree."
The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, conducting flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, went down on July 17, 2014, in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine, killing 298 people from 10 states. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed, including representatives of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. In June 2019, experts claimed that they had identified a group of four people, suspected of involvement in the tragedy. It includes former Donetsk People’s Republic militia leader Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov; and his subordinates: Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko. According to the investigation, the former three are Russian nationals, and the latter is a Ukrainian national. The court hearings against the four men began on March 9. Pulatov is the only one represented by a group of lawyers, while the remaining three are tried in absentia. The four are accused of delivering a Buk air defense system from Russia to Ukraine.
Russian officials repeatedly doubted the JIT findings, pointing out baselessness of the plaintiffs’ arguments and unwillingness to use conclusions of the Russian side during the probe.